Bruce Chen, Royals offense struggles in 6-3 defeat

Gregory Shamus

Not a great way to finish up the series.

The Kansas City Royals lost the series finale and five-game series Sunday afternoon, falling 6-2 to the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.

The Tigers offense scored early and often, reminding everyone why Bruce Chen spent the first half of the season in the Royals bullpen. Miguel Cabrera started the scoring with a two-run homer in the first, jumping on an 85-mph meatball that caught way too much of the plate.

Cabrera drove in his third run of the game in the third, plating Torii Hunter with a single after the outfielder hit a two-out ground-rule double. Hunter hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning, driving in Jose Iglesias.

The final Detroit runs came in the sixth. Chen surrendered a one-out single to Andy Dirks, then Brayan Pena drove in Dirks with a double to dead-center. The ball was well-struck, and Jarrod Dyson was playing really shallow. Louis Coleman then replaced Chen, surrendering an RBI-single to Ramon Santiago before getting out of the inning with a double play.

Chen did a good job throwing strikes, but surrendered five runs on eight hits over 5 1/3 innings. The southpaw walked one batter, but only struck out one as well. This is the Chen we have come to know the past few seasons, so it's not a shock to see him return.

The Royals offense looked mostly inept against Max Scherzer. The right-hander held Kansas City scoreless for six frames before the Royals scored a pair of runs in the seventh.

Billy Butler led off the inning with a single and Alex Gordon followed with a double, putting two runners on. Salvador Perez hit an RBI-groundnut, then Emilio Bonifacio plated Gordon with a double.

Scherzer shut the Royals down after the Bonifacio double, and tossed a scoreless eighth for good measure. He only surrendered five hits, striking out four while walking none. Scherzer was throwing strikes all game, and the Royals could do little against him besides hit into outs.

Butler smacked a solo homer off Joaquin Benoit in the ninth, but it was too little, too late.

Kansas City is now 64-59 on the year, 8 1/2 games behind Detroit in the AL Central. The Royals have an off-day Monday before hosting the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.

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